Transcript of Los Angeles 2010 Census Press Conference: Indianapolis, Indiana Gets Screwed!
Apologies for the awkward numbering system, but that’s how the transcript came in…Check out how Indianapolis is getting SCREWED by the Census Bureau (scroll down to the Q&A portion…I understand that Dr. Groves was under the weather during this press conference, but still, there were way too few questions asked and answered here!):
3 TRANSCRIPTION OF
4 THIRD ANNUAL 2010 CENSUS OPERATIONAL
5 PRESS BRIEFING
6 March 1, 2010
12 Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center
13 1600 East Fourth Street
14 Los Angeles, California 90033
15 7:57 a.m.
23 Reported by:
24 Brandy R. Stull
25 CSR #13381
1 Monday, March 1, 2010; Los Angeles, California
3 7:57 a.m.
4 MR. COOK: Good morning. I’d like to welcome
5 everybody here for our third 2010 Census Operational
6 Press Briefing. Just to let you know, we are going to
7 have remarks from City Counselman Jose Huizar, and then
8 Dr. Groves will give his remarks. Following it, we will
9 have Q and A. Just to let everyone know, that if you
10 have questions pertaining to anything above and beyond
11 2010 census operations, please see me after the
12 operational press briefing. And for people who are
13 calling in, you can dial (301) 763-3691 and talk to the
14 decennial media relations team. Without further ado, Mr.
15 Jose Huizar.
16 MR. HUIZAR: Good morning, everyone. It’s quite
17 exciting this morning for the east side of Los Angeles
18 and for Boyle Heights to have the presence of the
19 director of — the United States Census Bureau director,
20 Dr. Robert Groves. As many of you know, this center here
21 is a community center that provides many opportunities
22 for our young people and for the local community, and it
23 really has transformed this neighborhood.
24 I want to first thank Ozzie Lopez, the director
25 of the center, for allowing us to be here, and I want to
1 welcome Dr. Robert Groves to the center. We welcome you
2 to Los Angeles and thank you for coming to Boyle Heights
3 and to the east side of Los Angeles. Your presence here
4 today speaks to the importance of the challenges we face
5 in getting a complete census count here on the east side,
6 which I understand was one of the most undercounted areas
7 in the nation in the last census.
8 I know later today Dr. Groves is going to be at
9 Garza Primary Center here in Boyle Heights, focusing
10 attention on what is a hard-to-count area and looking to
11 make sure that children are counted. Unfortunately, I
12 cannot be there. I will be in city council, grappling
13 along with my colleagues over a budget deficit that may
14 reach $600 million next fiscal year. Now, I tell you
15 this because, given our current economic struggles,
16 Los Angeles can ill-afford to lose another $206 million
17 in vital federal dollars as it did in the census in the
18 year 2000 — the 2000 census. Simply put, the City of
19 Los Angeles cannot afford to lose hundreds of millions of
20 dollars again and the vital services those dollars
22 While children from low-income families, people
23 of color, immigrants, and the homeless population top the
24 ranks of those who are most undercounted, they represent
25 the very population that would benefit the most from the
1 additional educational, health, emergency, youth and
2 senior services that would otherwise be available if the
3 counts were closer to their actual numbers.
4 I want you to know, Dr. Groves, that here in
5 Boyle Heights I’m working with your staff, the mayor’s
6 office, and have started a complete count committee.
7 We’re recording with businesses, schools, and 15
8 non-profits to make sure all of Boyle Heights residents
9 are counted in 2010. The committee will do all possible
10 to let people know that filling out the census form is
11 not only risk-free and that the information provided is
12 confidential under the strictest of measures, but the
13 committee will also remind people that filling out the
14 forms is the easiest way to help bring millions of
15 dollars in educational/medical services and others to
16 their children, to the families, and local community.
17 Again, I thank you, Dr. Groves, for being here.
18 It’s a big country, and you could have gone anywhere, and
19 we thank you for being here to help us get the full
20 census count of Los Angeles in the year 2010. Welcome,
21 Dr. Groves.
22 DR. GROVES: It’s great to be here at Boyle
23 Heights Technology Center. I can tell you this is a
24 lovely facility, and they’re doing wonderful work for
25 kids in training them in the technologies we’ll need for
1 the future.
2 Most of my operational press briefings have been
3 in Washington D.C. It’s great that be on the West Coast.
4 It’s a special day for us, as you’ll see as I make my
5 remarks. We’re launching operations right now, and I’m
6 happy to do it on the West Coast.
7 We all should know that we — the census has
8 begun. It began in a little native Alaska village in –
9 on January 25th where, as it turned out, I enumerated the
10 very first person in the country. We start in Alaska
11 early because, when the spring thaw comes, people leave
12 the villages for hunting and fishing activities, and
13 we — we miss them unless we start early. That was the
14 village of Noorvik. I thank them, the residents, for
15 taking time. We have now enumerated the 700 people or so
16 in the village of Noorvik. They answered ten questions
17 that will be asked of all of us in the United States over
18 the next few weeks.
19 The questions are simple ones: The number of
20 people that live in your household, whether there might
21 be someone who will move into your household by
22 April 1st, whether the residence is owned or rented, your
23 telephone number — merely to follow up in case we can’t
24 understand some of your answers. Then we’ll throw your
25 phone number away — name, sex, age, date of birth,
1 whether you are Hispanic or Latino origin, your race, and
2 whether a person in the household sometimes lives
3 somewhere else. Those are the questions. We’re not
4 asking income. We’re not asking social security number.
5 This is indeed the shortest census form in our lifetimes.
6 I can say that with great assurance.
7 Now, we’re all excited at the Census Bureau
8 today because we’re beginning a big operation. For over
9 12 million households in the country, census takers will
10 be visiting, starting this morning. These 12 million
11 households, representing about 9 percent of the
12 population, are disproportionately rural households where
13 the addresses are not city-style addresses; where the
14 mail may not be delivered to that particular housing
15 unit. A few weeks ago, a letter was sent to these
16 households, announcing that a census taker would drop off
17 a questionnaire, and indeed, that’s what’s going to
18 happen over the next few weeks.
19 I want to show you what this will all look like.
20 A census taker will be carrying a bag that looks like
21 this. It has a big census logo on it. You can’t miss
22 it. So if someone knocks on your door in these 12
23 million households, these rural households over the next
24 few weeks or in other households over the following
25 weeks, look for this bag. That’s one signal that this is
1 a Census Bureau employee. And then they’ll have a badge
2 that has a — a Commerce Department Census Bureau seal on
3 it. It will have a name and an expiration date. They’ll
4 be wearing this around their neck generally. So there
5 are two signals: The bag and the — and the badge.
6 Now, in this operation which we call update
7 leave — this is Census Bureau jargon — means we’re
8 updating our list of addresses, and then we’re leaving a
9 questionnaire. What will happen is that the census taker
10 will knock on the door. If someone’s there, they will
11 hand this plastic bag to them. If they’re not there,
12 they’ll hang it on the doorknob of the front door.
13 Inside the bag is a census package that is an envelope
14 that looks like this. It has “Census 2010″ right on the
15 front of it in real bold letters. It notes that “Your
16 response is required by law.” We’ve learned that putting
17 that message on the envelope really reminded people how
18 serious the census is and how important it is to respond.
19 And then, inside the envelope, there’s a little letter
20 from the director that asks for their participation, and
21 there is this very short ten-question questionnaire that
22 you may have seen. Takes ten minutes to fill out. And
23 then there’s a return envelope, postage free. You don’t
24 have to put a stamp on this. And all we ask you to do is
25 to take a few minutes and fill that out and mail it back
1 by April 1.
2 So 12 million households in mostly rural areas
3 are getting this. In your press kits you’ll see a map of
4 the United States that designates what areas are getting
5 this operation; where we’re dropping off the
6 questionnaire using our staff. You’ll see that there are
7 vast geographical areas that are covered this way, but
8 there aren’t many living there. There are only about 12
9 million people.
10 So this is a big day for us. The next big days
11 coming up will affect the rest of the population. In the
12 first week of March, most — about 90 percent of the
13 households will get a letter in the mail from me. I’ve
14 signed 200 million letters. My hand is very sore. And
15 then about a week later, between March 15th and
16 March 17th, you’ll get your questionnaire package –
17 exactly the same thing I just showed you with the
18 questionnaire, letter, and a prepaid return envelope.
19 Those in — in about 12 million of the
20 households, those questionnaires will be bilingual;
21 Spanish on one side, English on the other. We’ve
22 targeted heavy Latino areas for that treatment in order
23 to make it easier for Spanish-speaking and
24 Spanish-reading residents to fill those out.
25 Again, the job is simple. All you have to do is
1 to to fill out the form and mail it back. And then I
2 should mention one other group:
3 In a set of areas where mail is not delivered
4 and we have a tough time keeping the address list up, we
5 will actually visit houses — this is about 1 percent of
6 the houses — visit houses and do the interview in
7 person, take the ten questions in a face-to-face
8 interview. With those who receive the mailing, we — we
9 will send you an advance letter. Then we’ll sent a
10 questionnaire packet, and then we’re going to send you a
11 little reminder card to help you remember maybe to pick
12 it off your desk and — and fill it out in case you’ve
13 forgotten to do so. In some areas we’ll also send a
14 replacement questionnaire. That will take place in the
15 first week or two of April.
16 We do these multiple contacts. I know a lot of
17 people are worried about federal spending right now. So
18 why do we do these advance letter, reminder card,
19 replacement questionnaires? There’s a very simple
20 reason. We’ve learned in our tests in the past decade
21 that giving these little reminders to folks encourages
22 them to return the questionnaire. If — if you return
23 the questionnaire, it costs the federal government about
24 $0.42. If you don’t return the questionnaire, we have to
25 go out and visit your house because we need to count
1 everyone. When we go out and visit your house, we spend
2 about $57. $0.42 versus $57. You can see why we — we
3 try to encourage people to fill it out in — in –
4 through the mail.
5 Census day is April 1. We attempt to measure
6 the population. It’s a snapshot of the population for
7 April 1, and we encourage you to report your household
8 composition — everyone who is living there — at the
9 April 1 time frame. It’s a reference date. It’s not a
10 deadline to return the questionnaire. So if you get a
11 questionnaire and you know your household will have –
12 you know what the membership of your household will be on
13 April 1, fill it out right away. Then you don’t have to
14 worry about failing to turn it in. We will — we hope
15 you turn it in by April 1.
16 Now, I said today’s a big day because of those
17 12 million households being visited. Let me tell you the
18 other steps that we’re going to do. We will do, between
19 March 19th and April 12th, an enumeration of what we call
20 transitory location. What do those mean? What do I mean
21 by that? Those are RV parks, campgrounds, hotels,
22 motels, marinas, circuses throughout the country. We
23 will count them at those locations. We will count people
24 at those locations if they do not have a usual household
25 somewhere else. So our questionnaire will ask that.
1 Between March 22nd and May 29th, we will begin
2 this process of going out and doing interviews face to
3 face in — in the so-called “update enumerate areas.”
4 These are American Indian reservations and South Texas
5 colonias and so on.
6 Between March 29th and March 31st, we will do an
7 operation called service-based enumeration. This is
8 where our census takers will visit locations set up for
9 people who are experiencing homelessness. These are
10 shelters, soup kitchens, regular stops of mobile food
11 vans, and targeted non-sheltered outdoor locations. We
12 will have a staff of about 92,000 people doing that.
13 Between April 1 and May 14th, we will do
14 enumeration of group quarters. These are places that are
15 like dormitories, assisted-living facilities, prisons
16 throughout the country. We’ll have a staff of about
17 18,000 people. This will be going to about 235,000
19 And then, starting May 1, for those, I hope, few
20 households that don’t return the questionnaire by mail,
21 we will do an operation called nonresponse follow up, and
22 this will be visiting maybe as many as 48 million
23 households. We’ll have as many as 680-, 700,000 census
24 takers throughout the country knocking on doors. I would
25 love to make that operation smaller because everyone
1 returns their mail questionnaire and we don’t have to do
2 that at all.
3 Now, at this time, since we’re getting very
4 close, I need to give some other operational updates, and
5 that is how can you get help when you get your census
6 form? How do you get help if you can’t understand it?
7 If you don’t know what to do? We will have
8 questionnaire — telephone questionnaire assistance
9 numbers. They’ll be published when the questionnaires
10 come out. You can call these toll-free numbers. You’ll
11 be able to talk to people that can speak your language.
12 Our operators can speak many, many different languages,
13 and this will help you fill out your form.
14 We — we will also have, believe it or not,
15 throughout the country over 30,000 centers located in
16 neighborhoods — these are kindly donated by churches,
17 community centers, schools around the country — where
18 there will be Census Bureau staff to help you fill out
19 the questionnaires. We call these questionnaire
20 assistance centers. We’ll publish where those are.
21 They’ll be on our Web site. And then finally, we — we
22 will have centers for people who, for some reason or
23 another if we’ve made a mistake and we haven’t gotten a
24 questionnaire to you, you haven’t been counted, we’ll
25 have other centers where, in addition to the
1 questionnaire assistance centers for getting forms,
2 they’ll be called “be counted form centers” where you’ll
3 be able to pick up a questionnaire. All of this is
4 published online at our Web Site 2010Census.Gov.
5 Now, some of you — let me turn how now to the
6 media campaign, the communications outreach. This is the
7 moment that all of our media attention and communication
8 campaign and partnership operations has been focused on.
9 As you may know, we have purchased advertising in a lot
10 of different media. We have advertised on the Super
11 Bowl. We’ve advertised on the Olympics. We will
12 advertise on — on the March Madness basketball
13 tournament. Why are we doing this? We are spending
14 advertising money in order to try to reduce the money
15 we’d spend on the nonresponse follow up. For every one
16 percentage point of households that return the forms, we
17 save $85 million of tax payer money. This is real money
18 that we could return to the treasury if everyone turns in
19 their — their questionnaires.
20 So we have been blessed with over 200,000
21 organizations around the country, some as small as small
22 residence associations, neighborhood residence
23 associations, some as big as multinational corporations
24 like Best Buy and Target. The Chamber of Commerce has
25 helped us, and they have agreed in a voluntary way to get
1 the word out. It is the moment for the partners to
2 energize themselves even more to get the word out that,
3 when we get our forms, we need to turn them in. I thank
4 all of the political, religious, and social leaders,
5 including President Obama, who have given public service
6 announcements via video that are being broadcast
7 throughout the country. We need the help of everyone,
8 the media included, to get the word out that this is
9 something that we all need to do. It’s a good thing for
10 the country.
11 Just a note on federal spending: These
12 questionnaire assistance centers and be counted form
13 sites and sites where we’re testing has been donated
14 space for our activities, and I want to thank all those
15 organizations around the country who have done it. We’ve
16 tallied up what the federal government would have to pay
17 for that donated space over the time, and it tallies, in
18 our figures, over $300 million of donated space from
19 local entities that have joined with us to make sure this
20 is a successful census. So I thank them deeply. You’ve
21 saved us all money by donating that space, and it’s been
22 a wonderful thing. A couple of other things.
23 One of the neatest things we’re going to do over
24 the news few weeks — and the media should love this –
25 is over the last weeks of March, we will be publishing
1 the return rate of questionnaires down to really small
2 neighborhood areas. You’ll be able to go to our Web
3 site, type in a Zip Code, and up in front of you will be
4 the return rates for areas in that Zip Code.
5 We can all follow how we’re doing. We can note
6 neighborhoods that are way ahead of where they were in
7 2000, and we can cheer their success. We can look at
8 neighborhoods that are falling behind, and we can say,
9 “Hey, let’s get the word out to that neighborhood to get
10 those questionnaires in.” It’s completely transparent,
11 completely public. It’s something we can all watch to
12 make this a very successful census. So I — I hope you
13 take a look at that.
14 We have a variety of software widgets that can
15 be downloaded, so if you’re one of our partner
16 organizations, one of these 200,000 partner
17 organizations, you can download the widgets, and you can
18 display your area on your Web site. You can — we can
19 make this a viral sort of thing. We’re doing a lot of
20 online and social media. You’ll see us on Twitter and
21 YouTube and Facebook. I invite everybody to go to this
22 Web site 2010Census.Gov that’s in both — in English and
23 completely replicated in Spanish. I have a blog.
24 There’s another blog. We’re trying goat the story out,
25 and we need — we need the help of everybody to make sure
1 that everyone understands that this is a very important
2 thing that we do together.
3 This is the 23rd census of this country. We’ve
4 done it every year — every ten years since 1790. We
5 reapportion the House. We redistribute tax payer money
6 to neighborhoods, cities, and states based on this. It
7 repaints the portrait of America. Secondly, this is a
8 very easy thing to do. We’ve made it as simple as we
9 possibly can. It’s only ten minutes to fill this out to
10 get the rewards for the ten years. And then, finally,
11 this is a very safe thing for all of us to do. For those
12 populations new to the country that don’t know how the
13 United States does a census, we do it in a way that, when
14 you give information to the Census Bureau, it goes
15 nowhere else. It goes to no enforcement agency. It goes
16 to no landlord. It goes to no tax-taking agency at the
17 local, state, or national level. I take an oath. My
18 fellow colleagues take an oath that keeps those data
19 confidential. I go to prison for five years and have a
20 $250,000 fine if I violate that oath. It is a safe thing
21 to participate in.
22 So the 2010 census is important, it’s easy, and
23 it’s safe, and I hope everyone, when you get your form –
24 however you’re getting it over the next few days — will
25 fill it out and mail it back. So I’m — I — I’m happy
1 to see you all here. I’m happy to take questions.
2 Michael will –
3 MR. COOK: Just a quick reminder for media
4 that’s in the room and those 15 affiliates that are on
5 the call. If you have questions that are pertaining to
6 things above and beyond census operations, for those of
7 you here, please — please contact me immediately after.
8 And those on the call, if you would please call
9 (301) 763-3691, the decennial media relations team will
10 assist you. And we’ll go ahead and start with any
12 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Why you feel that — you
13 know, the estimate of 42 million people who are not going
14 to send in this simple form — what’s the logic as to why
15 they aren’t doing this? What’s the data showed in the
17 DR. GROVES: This is a great question. So the
18 question really is why — so why don’t people turn in the
19 form? If I can paraphrase the — the question.
20 We’ve studied this over the decades, and there
21 are multiple reasons. The vast majority of the people, I
22 can tell you, kind of set it aside. You know, you get
23 something in the mail, and you put it aside with your
24 bills and — and you forget to fill it out. Why do I say
25 that? I say that because, when we go and call on them
1 afterwards or knock on their door, they say, “Oh, gee. I
2 meant to fill it out. I’m sorry. I’ll fill — you know,
3 I’m happy to do it.” That’s the vast majority. Other
4 people have impediments that have to do with language and
5 culture. And let met take the language thing first.
6 We know in — in the Los Angeles School
7 District, by the way, I believe the — the kids speak
8 over 120 languages, maybe over 130 languages. You get a
9 form in a language you can’t read very well, that’s a –
10 that’s a bigger burden than — than otherwise. We’ve
11 tried to address that this year. We have forms in six
12 different languages. We have language-assistance guides
13 that we call that are essentially translations of the
14 questionnaire in 59 languages. So that’s another reason
15 that — that people don’t fill it out.
16 I think the third reason we’ve — we’re doing
17 studies of this right now. Young people have never
18 been — say, people 18 to 29 who are forming their
19 households for the first time, living on their own, left
20 their parents’ house — they’ve never done a census
21 before. They’re used to having their parents take care
22 of them on bunches of things, and so suddenly they’re now
23 getting a census form, and we want them to fill it out.
24 You know, they’re on their own now, and that’s a big
25 challenge for us. So there are a lot of different
1 reasons so — and they’re diverse reasons. It’s a great
3 MR. COOK: And just real quickly, when you ask
4 your question, please make sure and note your media
6 DR. GROVES: Yes?
7 EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATIONS: Hi, I’m with
8 Eastern Group Publications. I wanted to find out how –
9 what additional resources you put into the East LA area
10 where it’s — I guess it’s the second-most uncounted area
11 and also how you feel that campaign is doing.
12 DR. GROVES: This is a question about East LA
13 specifically. Jamie Christy, our regional director, is
14 here and is a much better person to answer specific LA
15 questions. I can tell you with regard to the advertising
16 effort, that, in contrast to 2000 when we first note, the
17 2000 was the first time we did paid advertising. In
18 prior decades, we did public service announcements that
19 ran about 3 o’clock in the morning. No one saw them.
20 The paid advertising in 2000 really worked. It reversed
21 decade-long declines in response rates, so we did it
22 again. This time, we’ve targeted the advertising
23 differently. We’re targeting more to local media markets
24 than to national media markets. We did it the opposite
25 way last time. We are — we have special campaigns for
1 separate ethnic subgroups using in-language media as much
2 as possible.
3 I’ve talked to many ethnic media around the
4 country. I wish we had more money to — to spread
5 everywhere. We — we have a campaign — we have a
6 campaign that was targeted to the — disproportionately
7 to the difficult-to-enumerate areas in-language media as
8 much as possible. We’ve executed that. We’ve held back
9 some money, though, and this is an important thing to
10 note. We’ve held back money nationally because, just
11 like you, we’re going to be watching these returns come
12 out the last week of March. And when things aren’t doing
13 as well as we hoped, we’re going to target media buys in
14 those areas that aren’t doing as well. So we’re watching
15 these data as they come in.
16 EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATIONS: Do you have a
17 national strategy about — do you have a national
18 strategy about targeting areas that are undercounted?
19 DR. GROVES: Yes, absolutely. We — we have –
20 in fact, you can — there is something called a national
21 planning database that, right down to the neighborhood
22 level, we — we have these things called census tracts,
23 and we have targeted — we’ve studied characteristics of
24 those tracts. Our partner activities have been targeted
25 at the tract level, so we’ve built relationships with
1 individual organizations within the hard-to-enumerate
2 tracts based on the data we have in order to get special
3 attention to those tracts, and this is in complete
4 concert integrated with the paid media campaign.
5 I must note that the partnership activities –
6 these 200,000 organizations that last decade numbered
7 about 120,000 — this is almost double the number. This
8 is the heartbeat of the decennial census. These local
9 organizations that know their neighborhoods that are
10 trusted voices in local ethnic groups and local
11 neighborhoods are what makes the census work. National
12 campaigns, a guy from Washington saying something,
13 doesn’t make the census successful. What makes the
14 census successful is if you — you hear from your
15 neighborhood leaders that this is an important thing for
16 our group to participate in, and this is going on
17 throughout the country.
18 MR. COOK: We have El Paso Times on the line.
19 DR. GROVES: The El Paso Times has a question?
20 El Paso Times, question?
21 EL PASO TIMES: Yes. Can you hear me?
22 DR. GROVES: I can hear you. I can hear you
24 EL PASO TIMES: Yes. So there are some readers
25 who are confused about the question of race because most
1 of our covered areas is Hispanic. 81 percent is
2 Hispanic, and they think that Question 5 really answers
3 the question, and they don’t know what to put in the
4 Question 6. They don’t consider themselves white or
5 black or American Indian. So what do you have to say
6 about this person and how it could affect the count?
7 DR. GROVES: Yeah. So this is a question about
8 filling out race for someone who looks at the racial
9 categories, especially Latinos, and — and doesn’t know
10 what to do. The race question is probably the question
11 that I get the most queries about. It’s a question
12 that’s a uniquely American question. This is a question
13 that changes every decade, by the way, almost.
14 For people — the first thing to note is that
15 this is your self-report, what you consider yourself to
16 be in these racial terms. If you look at all of the
17 labels and you say, “Multiple ones of them apply to me,”
18 you can check multiple boxes. If you look at all the
19 labels and you say, “Gee, I don’t think of myself as any
20 of these labels. I don’t see myself here at all,” then
21 we have, at the very bottom of Question 9, a — a place
22 where you can write in what you want to call — what you
23 think of yourselves of as in racial terms. And that’s
24 what we would encourage your readers to do. So look at
25 the question. If they think multiple boxes apply, you
1 can check multiple boxes. If you see nothing there, then
2 write — write in at the very last box.
3 EL PASO TIMES: And I’m sorry. Has this
4 question changed — the Number 5, the question about
5 ethnicity — has it changed in the last decade or so?
6 DR. GROVES: Yeah. You’re — you’re looking at
7 different question numbers — oh, I see what you’re
8 doing. Okay. I see what you’re doing now.
9 Question Number 5 on — on ethnicity has changed
10 over time. Last — the last decade’s research has
11 studied the effect of asking ethnicity and race in
12 different orders, and interestingly enough, people answer
13 differently depending on whether you ask race first or
14 ethnicity first. This is a fascinating result. And so
15 it turned out that it looked like the most accurate data
16 we could get is by asking ethnicity first. The
17 categories themselves have changed slightly. The prompts
18 have changed slightly over the decades.
19 EL PASO TIMES: Thank you.
20 DR. GROVES: Thank you.
21 MR. COOK: Questions?
22 DR. GROVES: Question in the back.
23 LA GARMENT & CITIZEN: Hi, My name’s Jerry
24 Sullivan. I’m with the Los Angeles Garment & Citizen.
25 There’s been some dissatisfaction, especially among
1 ethnic media, expressed about the advertising campaign
2 and the media buy. I also have heard that your media
3 reps in the local areas have not been asked for any
4 advice or even been allowed to talk to the advertising
5 agency about that, and it strikes me as a bit of a
6 disconnect. It seems like your staffers who are closest
7 to the ground in terms of media market and understanding
8 local media haven’t had any input into the media plan.
9 DR. GROVES: Yeah. So this is a question about
10 the media buys. Let me — let me describe the process
11 that produced the — the whole thing.
12 Before I — I’ve been the director since July of
13 2009. A few years earlier, there was a large open
14 competition for the national advertising contract, and
15 the contract was focused on the entire media plan, not
16 just the — the mass market, but also all the ethnic
17 markets. So a consortia of advertising agencies banded
18 together to write different proposals. The winning
19 proposal was selected. The team — it was — it’s a
20 coalition of about 12 or 13 different agencies. Many of
21 them are minority-owned focused who have devoted their
22 company’s mission to ethnic media. And then there –
23 they are indeed implementing the plan under the oversight
24 of the Census Bureau.
25 In order to get media, the media plan itself was
1 focused on the hard-to-count groups and then media
2 outlets that hit those groups. From our regional offices
3 in — over the past months, suggestions for key media
4 outlets for trusted media outlets in the local areas were
5 obtained. Those were added to the list, and then media
6 buys were made with that information and others based on
7 audited audience figures.
8 I understand these concerns throughout the
9 country. I’ve talked to many media outlets that –
10 that — that want these contracts and serve faithfully
11 and well their — their markets. I wish we had more
12 money. We had to have thresholds of audience impact in
13 purchasing the media, so there are some markets where we
14 are not buying local media. We’re relying on national
15 media. I wish we could do local media there. There
16 never seems to be enough money for each media outlet to
17 get what they feel they deserve in terms of these
18 concerns. I understand the concerns. I can say quite
19 confidently that this was an objective process based on
20 audience figures and the targeting that we wanted and the
21 media markets that had the biggest bang for their buck in
22 terms of population size, but I understand the problem.
23 LA GARMENT & CITIZEN: But just to repeat the
24 question, was there a way for the local media reps to
25 inform, or was there –
1 DR. GROVES: Our local regional offices gave
2 a — a — sets of media outlet names to the national
3 effort so that that local knowledge was part of the plan.
4 MR. COOK: We have a call from Pittsburgh Post
5 on the line.
6 DR. GROVES: Pittsburgh Post?
7 PITTSBURGH POST: Gary Rotstein from the
8 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
9 DR. GROVES: Hi, Gary.
10 PITTSBURGH POST: Hi, there. My question is
11 about the undercount in 230. I’ve seen different — in
12 2000 I’ve seen different references to the size of the
13 undercount. Although I know it was very low compared to
14 the past, I was wondering what the Census Bureau is using
15 as the 2000 undercount percentage and whether it’s
16 realistic to surpass that, or all you’re trying to do is
17 match that this year or — or what the goal is.
18 DR. GROVES: Right. Right. There — there are
19 multiple estimates of undercount for 2000. We are using
20 the second release that is sort of a 1.4 percent figure.
21 The “Will we surpass that in 2010″ — this is truly a
22 function of what I’ve just been talking about. This is
23 truly a function of how we behave as residents of this
24 country. We are trying get the word out to all of us to
25 return these questionnaires. The best data we get is
1 from the data that people fill out on the questionnaires.
2 That’s the best thing you can do. So we will stay tuned
3 for that.
4 A big indicator — you know, there are multiple
5 indicators, Gary, of the goodness of a — of a census.
6 One is the differential undercount. A proxy indicator of
7 that is what proportion of the households return their
8 questionnaires. So — so that’s the thing we’re focused
9 on heavily right now.
10 So we’ll see. We will — we do indeed have a
11 large sample survey after the census that is used to
12 evaluate the quality, the coverage of the census. We
13 will do that, and we will also have comparisons to vital
14 registration system counts, so we’ll have multiple ways
15 of evaluating the census.
16 MR. COOK: Any questions in the room? Okay. On
17 the line we have WTLC Radio.
18 DR. GROVES: WTLC Radio?
19 WTLC RADIO: In Indianapolis. Good morning.
20 DR. GROVES: Good morning.
21 WTLC RADIO: Indianapolis is the 14th largest
22 city in the country. It’s also the largest city in the
23 country that does not have any local census advertising.
24 The mayor of Indianapolis and the congressman that serves
25 Indianapolis, Andre Carson, wrote to you a letter two
1 weeks ago expressing concerns that hard-to-reach areas
2 may not be effectively reached with the national
3 advertising scheme that the census advertising is doing.
4 They also expressed concerns because the Indianapolis
5 local census office that will serve most of the so-called
6 hard-to-reach neighborhoods is way below par in terms of
7 their goals of getting applicants for census jobs.
8 First, have you received that letter from the
9 mayor and the congressmen? When will you respond? And
10 how nervous are you that a very, very large city of
11 nearly 900,000 has no — you’re — you’re depending so
12 much on the national advertising to reach hard-to-reach
13 areas in a city this large?
14 DR. GROVES: Yeah. Let me — so that I — I see
15 you’re asking two separate questions. One — let — let
16 me do the media thing first because I can tell you care
17 about that deeply.
18 The — I did receive that letter. That letter
19 is — we’re responding to that letter. The Indianapolis
20 market is like other markets on certain attributes in
21 that it — it fell below certain thresholds we — we
22 needed to — to assure the tax payers that we had the
23 biggest bang for our buck in terms of advertising. Our
24 concern — it’s important that — that — the concern
25 that we have is to make sure that the audiences in all
1 these areas throughout the country get the message. Not
2 whether the media that provides the message is local or
3 not, but whether the audience gets the message. And at
4 some point, we have to do these cuts. It’s horrible that
5 we have to do this, and I understand your grievances.
6 I — I understand your point.
7 Now, on the second point, with regard to census
8 jobs, we — we are way ahead on our recruiting in
9 general. That’s been true in all of the 2010 operations,
10 but there are pockets throughout. I don’t know the –
11 this particular local census office recruitment point
12 but –
13 WTLC RADIO: You’re barely at 50 percent now –
14 DR. GROVES: Okay. Then it’s –
15 WTLC RADIO: — in terms of application, and
16 you’re at 40 percent in terms of –
17 DR. GROVES: That’s wonderful. Then getting
18 that word out to — to your readers and viewers, I know
19 we are — we are advertising as much as we can, so that’s
20 a useful message to get out there, and you can help us.
21 I appreciate it.
22 MR. COOK: Any more questions? Please state
23 your name.
24 KOREA DAILY: My name’s Jim from the Korea
25 Daily. Related to the count, there is big difference
1 between census and the Korean government’s data. Because
2 2000 census — according to 2000 census, 1.3 million
3 Korean-American live in the U.S., but the Korean
4 government said there’s 2.5 million, so there’s a 1.2
5 million difference. So as far as I know, the census
6 means 100 percent; right? So where’s — what’s the
7 difference between the two, and how can you calculate the
8 population of the Korean-Americans?
9 DR. GROVES: Yeah. I — so this is a question
10 about the undercount in the Korean — the national Korean
11 population, and you’re comparing the census — the 2000
12 census count with the Korean government count. I don’t
13 know — I’m sorry. I don’t know the 2.5 million — is
14 that the number?
15 KOREA DAILY: Yes.
16 DR. GROVES: From the Korean government — how
17 that how that was done. We are concerned about
18 undercounting groups that come from other countries, new
19 immigrant groups of all sorts. This is a problem of a
20 census in every country of the world, as it turns out.
21 New immigrant groups need to understand why we do
22 censuses, why it’s important to count both citizens and
23 noncitizens, both documented and undocumented visitors to
24 the country, and that’s news for every immigrant group.
25 We — we rely on trusted voices in the Korean community
1 to get that word out; that everyone should participate
2 whether you’re a citizen or not; whether you’re
3 documented or not; and that that participation will not
4 harm you or your family because the answers to your
5 questions will not go to any enforcement agency. We’re
6 disconnected from immigration, from the Internal Revenue
7 Service, and so on. So that message is important to get
8 out. Our focus right now is to make sure that everyone
9 in the Korean community — for example, your focus –
10 hears that message and believes that message and thereby
11 participates in the census. That’s our total focus right
13 MR. COOK: We have a call on the line from
14 Ken Crow, The Albany Times Union.
15 ALBANY TIMES UNION: Hello, can you hear me?
16 DR. GROVES: Hi, Ken.
17 ALBANY TIMES UNION: Hi, Robert. Albany has a
18 large concentration of students, college students, who
19 were undercounted in the 2000 census, and we’re
20 wondering what efforts the Bureau is making to ensure
21 that there’s a count of this mobile group and also the
22 confusion that exists about where they should be counted.
23 Should they be counted by their parents or here where
24 they’re residing?
25 DR. GROVES: Yeah. Yeah. Great, great, great
1 question. We have, this decade, five times as many
2 partner — so-called partner specialists. Now, what are
3 they? These are people who reach out to the community,
4 and many of them in areas that have a lot of universities
5 in the area have specialties reaching out to colleges and
7 These — there are all sorts of things going on
8 on college campuses. The — the public relations student
9 association has a national competition for the best
10 commercials, the best way of getting the word out, best
11 marketing campaign for the census on campuses. There
12 are, in different campuses, competitions between dorms on
13 who will have the highest percentage of individual census
14 reports filled out. That’s going on. At some
15 universities, they’re having competitions for YouTube
16 video commercials. I’m a little worried about those.
17 They might get a little wild.
18 But all of this is trying to get the message out
19 that you just said; that is, college students are counted
20 where they usually live. For the vast majority of
21 college students, this means it’s in your dorm or in
22 off-campus housing. It’s not at your parents’ house. If
23 you do live at your parents’ house, then you’re counted
24 there, but most college kids don’t. That’s a new message
25 for all of them, as you implied. We’re trying to get it
1 out as much as possible. Several of the college
2 presidents around the country have agreed to do blanket
3 e-mails, using the university e-mail system to students
4 announcing this.
5 We are right now in the middle of an operation
6 that we call “group quarters advanced visit,” in Census
7 Bureau jargon. We are contacting the director of every
8 dormitory in the United States right now. The
9 operation’s going very well. We’re almost finished, and
10 we’re asking them so how many kids are in the — in the
11 dorm? How do you — how can we best do the census in
12 this dormitory? Can you help us? How can you help us?
13 And we’re — we’re getting prepared. We didn’t do this
14 in 2000, by the way. So this outreach is an attempt to
15 get better counts in the dorms.
16 A tougher one are — are the off-campus housing,
17 these apartments where there maybe four roommates, and no
18 one really feels they’re head of the household. That
19 apartment is going to get one form, and we’re trying get
20 the message out to those kids to — you know, these are
21 kids who don’t eat together usually. They see each other
22 maybe twice a week. They kind of come and go. They need
23 to fill out that form, and that’s a real tough group to
24 get the message out to, and if you can help on that, we’d
25 appreciate that in Albany.
1 MR. COOK: We have a question on the line from
2 Gloria Alvarez, Eastern Group Publication.
3 EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATION: Yes, good morning.
4 DR. GROVES: Good morning.
5 EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATION: Among the stated
6 goals that I sort of heard going is that you are trying
7 to get enumerators and different people hired to reflect
8 local community. In some of these harder count
9 communities where a lot of the people may be
10 Spanish-speaking, have firm goals been established to
11 ensure that you do have Spanish-speaking people or
12 Korean-speaking, depending on the population, and are
13 you — are you meeting those hiring goals?
14 DR. GROVES: Yeah. Yeah. Great question.
15 EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATION: And — and I’m
16 talking — and the cost of board as well in terms of
17 managers and enumerators, et cetera.
18 DR. GROVES: Yeah. Great — great question.
19 First of all, your premise is absolutely correct. We are
20 attempting to hire locally, and this is — when we say
21 “locally,” it’s not the same city. You know, this is
22 really almost neighborhood by neighborhood. Now,
23 whenever you do that, it makes it harder to recruit;
24 right? You’re recruiting from smaller labor markets, so
25 that is a challenge.
1 And you put your finger on the biggest
2 challenge, and this is making sure we have the bilingual
3 skills that we need. Some of these neighborhoods have
4 multiple languages we have to cover. We are devoted to
5 that goal, and we are doing everything possible to
6 achieve that goal, and as I mentioned to an earlier
7 question, the overall recruiting is going great. We have
8 two areas that are challenges, one in the rural areas
9 because labor markets are scattered, and the other is
10 in — in areas where we need bilingual skills, and we’re
11 still recruiting there. We’re not going to give up on
12 this goal because we know the census is better done by
13 people who know the neighborhoods they do the census in.
14 THE SPEAKER: And as a follow up — can I follow
15 up to that?
16 DR. GROVES: Sure. Looks like it.
17 EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATION: Just quickly, in
18 some neighborhoods — I mean, how are you — how are you
19 determining these numbers? For example, we know that in
20 LA there are a lot of neighborhoods in transition.
21 Inglewood, for example, which at one time was identified
22 as a primarily African-American community, it’s now sort
23 of in transition that you have a lot of Spanish speakers.
24 How are you determining numbers? What are you –
25 DR. GROVES: Yeah. Yeah.
1 EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATION: — basing it on?
2 DR. GROVES: Great — great question. First of
3 all, we — we have data from the 2000 census on how
4 neighborhoods work, but just as you pointed out, that was
5 ten years ago. For some neighborhoods that’s fine.
6 There haven’t been many changes. We’ve updated those
7 data with other surveys we’ve done over the decade and
8 then with local knowledge of the regional offices.
9 We’ve hired partnership folks who — who know
10 those neighborhoods for the hard-to-count neighbors and
11 the neighborhoods that have changed into ones where we
12 anticipate challenges. We’ve done special planning.
13 We’ve sat down way before the census. This is over the
14 past few months. We’ve identified the local resources –
15 the social organizations, the religion organizations,
16 community centers, people — places where people hang
17 out. Sometimes these are barbershops or convenience
18 stores, and we’ve tried to take advantage of those
19 internal resources in the neighborhood to help us recruit
20 and to help us get the word out about the census. If
21 we’ve done a good job in those neighborhoods, we are now
22 aware of the fact that there — they’ve gone through a
23 transition that there are multiple languages; that
24 they’re in the midst of a transition from one ethnic
25 group to another. If we’re good, we’re on top of that
1 and we’re hiring people with multiple language skills. I
2 can’t promise we’re perfect in every neighborhood of the
3 country, but that’s what we’re trying to do.
4 MR. COOK: And that actually was our last call,
5 so you can close.
6 DR. GROVES: Well, I thank you for coming here.
7 I have a terrible cold. I’m sorry. I thank you for
8 coming here. I — I thank this wonderful technical
9 center for hosting us. This is a — for those of you on
10 the phone, we’re at a wonderful neighborhood center that
11 is training young people in high-tech skills for the –
12 for the coming economy, and it’s a wonderful sight to
13 see. I thank them for hosting us. I thank you for your
14 questions, and I hope everyone in this audience and on
15 the phone, when they get their questionnaire, will fill
16 it out and mail it back. Thank you very much.
18 (Whereupon, the press briefing concluded
19 at 8:48 a.m.)
1 STATE OF CALIFORNIA )
2 ) ss
3 COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES )
5 I, BRANDY STULL, Certified Shorthand Reporter
6 qualified in and for the State of California, do hereby
8 That the foregoing transcript is a true and
9 correct transcription of my original stenographic notes.
10 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand
11 this 2nd day of March, 2010.
17 BRANDY STULL
CSR No. 13381